Earn and Learn Scheme on the Right Track

Mr Dillon Choy, 22, was offered a place at the Singapore Management University (SMU) to study information systems. But he decided to join an Earn and Learn work-study programme instead under the national SkillsFuture initiative.

Mr Choy, a Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) graduate with a diploma in business enterprise IT, is one of 27 graduates across the five polytechnics in Singapore to join the scheme in the infocomm technology sector.

He has been working at Accenture since June when he started a four-month training programme on emerging technology. Mr Choy returns to NYP every two months for a week-long course to complement his on-the-job training. At the end of the programme, he will graduate with a specialist diploma in information systems development.

"I had looked at SMU's curriculum and compared it with this programme and found them quite similar. But with this programme, I get to work in a multinational company and learn skills that I can apply immediately to projects," said Mr Choy.

Workforce Development Agency chief executive Ng Cher Pong said the work-study scheme is "on track", with about 150 trainees across eight sector-specific programmes. Other sectors include logistics and food manufacturing.

WDA hopes to increase the number of Earn and Learn programmes to even more sectors and expand the number of placements. Ng said the response from companies has been “fairly positive”, while the universities are exploring whether they can offer advanced standing to those who complete the scheme and wish to pursue a degree.

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Source: “Earn and Learn scheme making progress: WDA” (The Straits Times, 4 Dec 2015)

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